Cult Film Director John Waters Hosting Playboy TV's Classic Porn Show

Bob Johnson

LOS ANGELES — Cult film director John Waters began hosting a new classic porn show on Playboy’s premium cable TV channel.

Called “Groundbreakers,” Waters is the host for five scheduled viewings of historic porn films including 1972’s “Deep Throat,” 1978’s “Candy Stripers,” 1973’s “The Devil In Miss Jones,” 1976’s “Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here” and 1978’s “Debbie Does Dallas.”

The 10 p.m. Saturday night schedule began Jan. 17 and will run every week except for Valentine’s Day.

“Porn classics are another extreme element of show business,” Waters said. “It’s an educational opportunity. You learn about the shows that you masturbated to for the first time.”

The trash film director is best known for cult classics like “1981’s “Polyester” and 1972’s “Pink Flamingos.”

Playboy TV’s vice president of development and current programming Wendy Miller told Variety that Waters will comment on the films before, during and after the shows depending on the title.

Waters recalled his exposure to these films in the adult theaters in his childhood home of Baltimore. “I pretended I owned a dirty movie theater. That’s how I played as a child,” he said.

The classics program was the brainchild of Miller who thinks the history of the genre might attract new viewers. “You might think of them as just old smut, but each of them has a really interesting story. She reasoned, “Why don’t we really do something, run the movie and give some history, and show why they are actually important movies that played a role in history?”

Playboy TV secured some of the films’ rights that are in public domain, while others had to be negotiated with the owners. Getting high-quality prints was also a challenge.

“Some of them were hard to find,” Miller said. Even Hugh Hefner’s personal 16-milimeter copy of  “Deep Throat” was reportedly examined by Playboy execs before they settled on what they wanted.

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